It’s summer in New York and that means two things: Mr. Softee trucks on every corner, and theatre festivals abounding. The king of the summer theatre festival, The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), began its 14th season Friday night, and its 200-something shows will play all over lower Manhattan through the end of August.

FringeNYC has always done an impeccable job mining through its submissions and bringing some stellar shows to New York from all parts of the globe. I’m not sure how many scripts they pour through each year, but 2010 seems to have some great offerings. And with only $15 tickets, seeing a FringeNYC show is usually a risk worth taking.

Theasy will cover over 50 performances this season, so if you want more insight visit theasy.com from now through the end of the month. We will have reviews, ticketing information, and a list of our favorites on our Best Bets page.

Here are a few shows we are extra excited about:

South Pathetic — An unemployed comedian directs North Carolina’s worst community theatre in A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanche played by “family values” crusader, Stella’s a stripper, Stanley’s a porn star.

The Princes of Persuasion — The beautiful and talented Destiny Mazursky stars in this wild indie-pop musical adventure featuring Ithai Benjamin and an international cast of hilarious and off-beat robotic puppets. Pop songs, sing alongs, vegetable casseroles and animal assholes: It’s a Recipe for Romance!

A Raisin in the Salad: Black Plays for White People — What happens to a dream that’s stirred (not shaken)? The answer lies in these revealing sketches, drawn with a pointy pencil. A dangerous comedy created for US, by US … and all about YOU (and us).

Terms of Dismemberment — The former Pocatello Paper-Pulp-Pageant Princess’s dead husband left three mortgages, Mafia debts. Her choice: sell off daughter’s “assets,” body part by body part, or risk their lives. A dark comedy about the cost of love. An equal opportunity offender.

Bunked! A New Musical — Sponsored by LogoTV, Bunked features the exploits of five summer camp counselors as they embark on their first taste of adulthood. Fatal secrets, impassioned jealousy and triangular love trysts entangle the counselors as the bittersweet end of summer approaches.

Interfaith Understanding with The Rev. Bill & Betty — As seen on Last Comic Standing! Pretzel logic, intolerance, and misunderstanding make the Rev. Bill and Betty America’s most outrageous preachers. Their twisted “Interfaith Understanding” explores the strange and unusual practices of non-Christians. By the end, you’ll be a believer!

Dear Harvey — Stories of Harvey Milk: the people he knew, the lives he changed. Intimate, surprising stories based on interviews with Harvey’s nephew Stuart Milk, Harvey’s campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, AIDS Quilt founder Cleve Jones and other friends and activists.

For show listings, performances schedules, and to buy tickets visit fringenyc.org.

For all the New York theatre info you need, visit theasy.com.

About the Author

Molly Marinik

Molly Marinik is a dramaturg and a director with a dance background. She is also passionate about developing new audiences of theatergoers. Molly is the founder and editor of Theatre Is Easy (theasy.com) a comprehensive website dedicated to providing accessible information about the New York theatre scene. BS in Visual Communication from Ohio University; currently pursuing a MA in Theatre History and Criticism at Brooklyn College. She's also sassier than her bio would lead you to believe.

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